Smartphone usage among all age groups is at an all time high. We’re more dependent on our smartphones than ever before.
But all of that smartphone usage is starting to have serious effects on our bodies. Today, we’re seeing growing numbers of patients complaining about neck pain. In many cases, this neck pain is directly linked to prolonged smartphone usage.
All of those hours spent craning your neck over your smartphone can have debilitating effects on your health. Fortunately, there’s growing evidence that chiropractic can help reduce neck pain caused by smartphone usage.
How Smartphones Cause Neck Problems
The average American spends 2 to 3 hours per day using a mobile device. That means for 14 to 21 hours per week, you’re staring at a smartphone or tablet screen.
This stat, of course, ignores the additional hours per day that many of us spend on our computers!
Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with using a smartphone or computer. Those who maintain proper posture and neck position, for example, may have nothing to worry about.
For others, unfortunately, all of this screen time is adding up.
Forward Head Posture, General Neck Pain, and More
Forward head posture is one of the most common problems linked to smartphone usage. When you’re sitting or standing in a neutral position, looking forward, your head weighs between 12 and 15 pounds. Your body stands aligned to support this weight in its optimal position.
If you tilt your head forward 15 degrees, you put stress on your neck. It increases the weight of your head. Instead of weighing 12 and 15 pounds, your head suddenly weighs the equivalent of 25 to 30 pounds.
The problem gets worse with more head tilt. If you’re tilting your head sixty degrees to look at your mobile device – say, if your phone or tablet is in your lap while you sit on the train – then your head is weighing the equivalent of about 60 pounds.
All of this added weight puts enormous strain on your neck and spine – especially when left uncorrected over time. It can lead to a serious problem called forward head posture, for example, along with general neck pain and stiffness.
Tips for Relieving Neck Pain
Lift your Phone to Eye Level: Tilting your neck can cause serious problems. Lift your phone to eye level to maintain a neutral head position on your neck.
Take Breaks with the 20/20/20 Rule: Follow the 20/20/20 rule to limit neck pain. Avoid spending more than 20 minutes on your mobile device without stopping. Take a 20 second break every 20 minutes or so to avoid keeping your neck in a problematic position for too long. Spend 20 seconds staring at a wall or object 20 feet ahead of you.
Do Neck Stretches: Take a break from your mobile device to do some neck stretches. Tilt your head downwards, then return back to looking straight
ahead, for example. Ask your chiropractor about other stretches you can do. Chiropractors are musculoskeletal system experts!
How a Chiropractor Helps Relieve Neck Pain
Chiropractors have a proven ability to reduce neck pain, back pain, and other discomfort throughout the musculoskeletal system.
Each patient’s chiropractic treatment plan is different. Even if patients both experience neck pain from prolonged smartphone usage, the neck pain may not be treated the same way.
During a consultation, a chiropractor will sit down with the patient to discuss a customized treatment plan. The chiropractor may recommend a series of initial visits to diagnose and treat the issue, and then a follow-up visit to verify the effectiveness of the treatment.
Some people resort to prescription drugs or invasive surgeries to treat neck pain. A growing number of patients, however, are treating neck pain using proven chiropractic treatment methods.
To learn more about how chiropractic adjustments can relieve the pain caused by prolonged smartphone usage, schedule a consultation today with Renew Chiropractic in Lakewood, Colorado.